December 5, Y109Ozma went to sleep feeling safe, and warm, and dizzyingly happy, feeding off the wonderfully odd connection that had been fused between his magic and Merlin's. For one of the first times in his memory, Oz had drifted into slumber without much concern at all. Whatever trace amounts of uncertainty he had felt had faded as soon as he nudged closer to Merlin.
When he awoke, it was with a jolt, followed by a cry of terror as his eyes fluttered open to see blazing purple light that emanated vile energy. It was right in front of him - only a foot from his face - and Ozma squeezed his eyes shut instinctively, knowing from experience what was about to happen. Absolute eradication. Not the first time he'd suffered it.
He froze for a few seconds before he eventually risked a glance. Another moment passed, and Ozma unfolded himself from his curled up, braced stance against the inevitable. The attack hadn't moved at all. It was still in front of his face, but with a bit of doing, and some very careful maneuvering, Oz extricated himself from its path. Breathing out harshly, he scooted further back, hardly trusting his feet to hold him at the moment.
The two brothers were on either side of him. Great, impossible dragons comprised of life and decay, frozen in place in a way Ozma couldn't recall ever seeing. His hands shook as he tried to make sense of where he was. It was so dark. It was everything he hated and feared, except worse.
It made Salem's gloomy lairs look like little more than half-hearted love notes to the real thing, and the hair on the back of his neck prickled as Ozma finally pushed himself onto his feet and backed up a bit more, turning in a circle with terror and uncertainty lancing across his expression.
He noted, after a time, that he was dressed. That was good. At least he wasn't stuck in a nightmare with no pants on, but it was still disconcerting to look down on himself and to recognize the clothes he had died in. He hated this shirt. It was one of the only nice ones he had, but it was itchy.
Something shifted in his surroundings then, and Ozma's head shot up, honing in on the new presence, ready for anything. Then, with a soft intake of breath, he took another step back. His fists curled tight at his sides, in a bid to hide how much his hands were shaking.
"Why did you do this?" He already expected it was for little more than to torture him. Some final hurrah at Oz for trusting that Salem had miraculously come back to life as something better than what she'd died as. He could already hear what she was going to spit at him. He felt like a fool. "Never mind that. How did you do this? How could you even remember this much detail?" Though the events of this particular moment were ancient to Ozma, he did remember the Brothers' dwellings as something recent in his memory. He had been to the god of light's sanctuary... what felt like only months ago. He had seen the dark brother's Pits as well, in some silly bid to show how unafraid he was.
That was a lie, though. He had been terrified, and he was terrified now. Anyone who wasn't was an idiot. "Salem, take us back. This is... this isn't necessary."